Bits and Pieces is a random collection of news and views compiled by Dr. Frank McClelland for Toronto F.P.C.
Visiting preachers today are Frank D’Addurno (11.00am) and Daniel Olson (6.30pm). The pastor, Dr. Saunders, is in Calgary for the installation and fortieth-anniversary services of the church there. The Rev. Paul Backhurst was installed as the Calgary minister on Friday evening. The Toronto church will continue (DV) with public services each week as well as the regular sermonaudio.com outreach.
The usual government-imposed regulations for public meetings will be in place. The Wednesday night prayer meetings will be on zoom for the foreseeable future at 7.30pm.
A HEART TRANSPLANT
In 1967 Dr. Christian Barnard shocked the medical world by performing the world’s first heart transplant, replacing a diseased heart with one from an organ donor. Amazing as it was at the time, the surgery is now fairly commonplace.
The human heart is an amazing piece of engineering. About the size of a fist, it pumps out blood to every part of the body. And this it does without ceasing for a lifetime. As we grow older, however, it can become diseased and weaken: hence open-heart surgeries and even transplants are required.
The Bible uses the heart to depict the seat of man’s will and emotions. Sadly, the will of man is diseased and depraved by sin. He needs a spiritual heart transplant.
Thousands of years before the modern focus on heart surgery the prophet Ezekiel received a promise from God that is good news for the most depraved of sinners, “a new heart also I will give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.”
When the Lord saves our souls He gives us the heart transplant that we need. This means for us new life, eternal life. It also means a new purpose in life for His promise to Ezekiel continues, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Here is the secret of a changed life. It is by the power of the indwelling Spirit that we are enabled to keep God’s law. It is now written on our hearts. Physical transplants do not always work, but when God gives a new heart it lasts for eternity.
New Brunswick held a provincial election this past week. The Conservatives won a majority government with 27 seats compared to 17 for the Liberals. There may well be a Federal election this fall where the governing Liberals are hanging on in a minority government situation amid repeated political scandals.
The possibility of a pending election raises some questions for Christians. The first one is whether or not Christians should be involved in the political process. The Bible teaches, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” [Proverbs 29:2]. If the “righteous” are not God’s people then who are they? Every Christian should exercise the right to vote. Remember the adage, “evil men take over when good men do nothing.”
Some of God’s children may even feel led to stand for election. This should be entered into carefully and prayerfully. We need committed Christians in positions of authority.
Canadian politics is focussed mostly around two parties with a few minority parties making up the electorate. Some people tend to vote for the party of their choice irrespective of that party’s policies or morality. The Christian probably would be well served by voting for the candidate in their area whose policies best exemplify the morality of the Bible.
Bearing in mind the “powers that be are ordained of God” [Romans 12:1] believers are exhorted that prayers should be made for “all that are in authority” [1 Timothy 2:2] with the express purpose, “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”
THE SPIDER’S WEB
On a bush near our picnic table a spider had stretched out his web; a four-inch diameter skein of gossamer-like threads, interlaced in such a fashion that not even the tiniest insect could escape its sticky snare. Indeed, a large fly had come to grief and the greedy spider was ready to eat. A short time ago the fly had been a free agent but now he lies, the helpless victim of a cunning spider, trussed and doomed.
I was reminded of another deadly trap, the web of sin spread by the devil himself. What tragedy befalls those deceived by Satan’s subtle wiles. There is no escape for the poor soul thus trapped.
But there is a supernatural way of escape, through the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ. He says, “Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee” [Psalm 50:15] and He does. [Rev. James McClelland]